Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Martin Luther Biography, Part 17: The Death of Martin Luther

The Protestant Reformation continued to spread.  The Protestant states organized into the League of Schmalkald in order to defend themselves if Emperor Charles V should seek to compel them to return to the religion of the Pope. Due to troubles with both the French and the Turkish Empire, Charles V needed the help of the Protestants, and so two years after the Augsburg Confession was published, the Peace of Nuremberg-- stipulating that the Protestants could remain in their faith, but could not seek to extend it to other territories, in exchange for which they would support the Emperor against the Turks-- was signed in 1532. Meanwhile, "Luther lived on at Wittenberg, translating, writing, visiting, teaching, and planning for the further advance of the Reformation" (Robinson, 94). Lutheran ministers continued to spread Protestant teaching throughout the Holy Roman Empire, regardless of the Peace of Nuremberg, believing their actions to be justified by Acts 4:19.

"In early January 1546, at the age of sixty-two, Luther returned to the town of his birth, Eisleben," (George, 102). Luther had been summoned to Eisleben in order to resolve a serious dispute between two counts concerning the division of some property. Luther answered the summons, though he was in extremely poor health. The weather and then the complicated nature of the dispute prevented Luther from returning home for rest and recuperation. After the dispute between the counts was finally resolved, as Luther was preparing to return home to his wife, he became seriously ill. At 1AM on February 18, 1546, Martin Luther woke from a fitful sleep in severe pain. He repeated in Latin Psalm 31:5, "In manus tuas commendo spiritum meum, redemisti me, domine Deus veritatis." "Into thy hand I commit my spirit; thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth." His friend Justus Jonas, who had been keeping watch over him, asked, "Reverend father, will you die steadfast in Christ, and in the doctrine you have preached?" Luther responded-- loud and firm-- with a simple, "Yes." He died before the sun rose.

Timothy George notes:
Luther's body was placed in a tin coffin and returned to Wittenberg where it was laid to rest in the Castle Church on the door of which Luther had posted the Ninety-five Theses nearly thirty years before. (George, 103)


Friday, October 26, 2012

Adoption: A New Move of the Spirit

Last week, my friend Josh Pinnick gave me a call; in part of the conversation, Josh gave me the exciting news that he and his wife Amanda are in the process of trying to adopt two children.

More and more of my Christian friends have been involved in expanding their families through adoption.

I believe that this is due to a special move of the Holy Spirit, working through a somewhat new development in the history of Christian doctrine and practice.

Christian doctrine properly develops as the Church seeks to apply Scripture to particular problems. Wrestling with these problems (whatever they may be) causes the Church to search through and apply Scriptures that may have otherwise been overlooked or inadequately reflected upon. So, for example, the Bible passages that are pertinent the fact that the right relationship of sinners to God is dependent upon adoption-- passages such as Eph 1:3-5; 2:11; 2:19; Gal 3:28-29, etc.-- have always been in Scripture since the close of the New Testament canon, but the doctrine of adoption has not been properly emphasized throughout much of Church History.

Partly because the doctrine of adoption has been somewhat underemphasized or underdeveloped in the Church, the practice of adoption has been neglected. The Church has always cared for orphans and widows-- the practice of caring for the most vulnerable members of society is the very essence of true religion that will be accepted by God, as taught in James 1:27-- but sometimes church members have sought to keep such care at an arm's length. For example: in past generations Christian ministers, congregations, and denominations have been at the forefront of caring for orphans through establishing orphanages [note the works of George Whitefield and George Mueller]-- and this is a great thing-- but sometimes financial contribution to an orphanage can serve as a substitute for taking personal responsibility to raise up a child in a Christian family.

For anyone who wishes to think further on the subject of adoption, I highly recommend Adopted for Life by Dr. Russell Moore; the teaching in this book was one of the main contributing factors in motivating the Pinnicks' decision to adopt. Some selections from this book can be read from following the links HERE.


Thursday, October 04, 2012

Notes from Proverbs 12:1-3

[Last night I had the privilege of leading the Bible study at Kosmosdale Baptist Church. Here are my notes from the lesson.]

            Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
                        but he who hates reproof is stupid.
            A good man obtains favor from the LORD,
                        but a man of evil devices he condemns.
            No one is established by wickedness,
                        but the root of the righteous will never be moved.
(Proverbs 12:1-3 ESV)

Initial Notes:

Verse 1. xref. Jude 10; Prov 5:11-14; 7:6-9; 21-23, re: the son who does not heed discipline, but whose life is destroyed by an adulterous woman.

Verse 2a. Pleasing the LORD: xref. Matt 19:17;
[B]elievers are accepted through Christ as individual souls, their good works are also accepted through Christ. It is not as though the believers are (in this life) wholly unblameable and unreprovable in God's sight, but because He looks upon them in His Son, and is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, although it is accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections. (2LBC 16:6)

Verse 2b. God condemns a person who makes evil plans.

Verse 3. xref. Psa 1; Matt 7:24-28.


I.      Introduction
A.   These verses introduce a chapter that is once again focused on words and deeds: the clearest reflections of the heart.
B.    These verses once again show humanity divided into two categories:
1.     The Good: established by God, obtaining favor from the LORD, loving discipline and knowledge.
2.     The Wicked: plotting evil. hating reproof, without any sure foundation, and under God’s condemnation.
II.    Verse 1
A.   Discipline: instruction; correction (illus. a trainer in a gym)
B.    Knowledge: basic intelligence, contrasted with stupidity, a good in itself
C.    Stupid: unreasoning, brutish (Jude 10)
D.   Example:
1.     Prov 5:11-14
2.     Prov 7:6-9; 21-23
III.  Verse 2
A.   Verse 2b, Explanation
B.    Verse 2a,
1.     Only One Good (Matt 19:17)
2.     In Christ, we are called to good deeds (Eph 2:10).
3.     2LBC 16:6
C.    Application: we must plan out our lives in a way that is pleasing to the LORD.
IV. Verse 3
A.   Psa 1
B.    Matt 7:24-28
V.   Conclusion: Heed the Word

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